US Under Attack - Search On For Terrorists
by Selwyn Manning - Breaking News
USA investigators have made headway into who they believe is responsible for yesterday's terrorist attacks on the United States, on New York's World Trade Centre and the US Military's Pentagon. The individuals, the groups, organisations and nations deemed responsible will certainly face a full retaliatory strike back from the united States Military and possibly other NATO countries.
Latest reports from the United States Government and investigative sources suggests they are "90%" certain that this act of war was organised by Osama bin Laden - who currently has refuge in the northern hills of Afghanistan.
US officials say they have evidence that each of the four terrorist teams had among them a certified pilot, some of whom had flown for Saudi Airlines.
The officials are not clear on whether the pilots are US trained or Saudi Arabia trained or both.
The terrorist commando teams likely had four to five persons. Somemay have crossed the Canadian border into the U.S.
Reports suggest that within the past few months, the FBI were watching two men attached to the Islamic Jihad terror group, but a botch-uo saw the men get into the US. One media outlet - Time Magazine - reports the two men were on the American Airlines Flight 77, the plane that crashed into the Pentagon.
Boston, it is believed, has been a central hub for the terrorist group's operation; and US investigators have already seized alleged associates of a bin Laden cell in Florida. The officials say this group was providing support on the aviation aspects of the attack.
US Spooks may have been tipped off to the attack in June. Investigators are looking over old reports and believe they have information that could draw light on those responsible for the attack, although at the time the intelligence was too vague.At that time, the alert went out to US embassies, especially those in the Middle East and the military moved to a higher level of alert.
The CIA received what Time Magazine says were vague reports "of some kind of spectacular happenings" by terrorists. For more see: TIME Exclusive: Inside the Plot ...
Osama bin Laden is an Islamic
fundamentalist and the son of a Saudi
He has been on the USA's FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitive list since 1999, and the U.S. State Department has offered a $5 million reward for his arrest.
U.S. prosecutors say bin Laden is the leader of al Qaeda(Arabic for "the Base"), a worldwide network of terrorists and is blamed for striking US targets around the world. Such targets include: the millennium bombing plot, last year's attack on the USS Cole in Yemen and the nearly simultaneous bombings of the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya.
Bin Laden was also thought to be behind a
suspected plot organising a large bomb attack on the Sydney
Olympic Games in 2000. Australian, US and New Zealand secret
service investigators suspected an Afghani-cell was
operating from Auckland City New Zealand. See:
the New Zealand Herald's coverage Terrorist Cell in
In February this year, secret intelligence agents described how terrorist groups, including bin Laden, were using coded messages in pornography and sports websites to help agents plot guerrilla attacks.
The Spooks said how encrypted messages on internet bulletin boards have replaced the traditional cloak-and-dagger methods of dead-letter drops.
IT security experts explained that governments around the world were struggling to control the internet, particularly the right to monitor e-mail, in an effort to thwart dissident attacks.
Even in New Zealand the Government has a Bill before the House that intends widespread changes to how SIS and other investigators gather information from individual's email and internet communications. Controversy surrounds the Bill due to it's invasive abilities into people's private affairs.
Although IT security experts say even if governments were able to get access to the keys to encryption, a message could still get through by being double-encrypted.
CIA information operations manager John Serabian told a US Government panel in 2000, that groups such as Hizbollah, Hamas, and bin Laden's were using computerised files, email and encryption to communicate.
"Terrorists already use the internet to communicate, to raise funds, recruit, and gather intelligence," Serabian told the US government panel.
Melbourne's Herald Sun newspaper reported, in April 1999, that Australia's spy agency - the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation - was investigating claims that bin Laden was trying to recruit members in Melbourne. ASIO and counter-terrorist police were on alert following sensational allegations which emerged in a court case in which an Iraqi national was accused of attacking a family for refusing to join bin Laden's extremist Muslim group.
Bin Laden's anger with the United States stems from the 1990 decision by Saudi Arabia to allow the U.S. to stage attacks on Iraqi forces in Kuwait and Iraq. After the U.S. victory, the U.S. military presence became permanent.